UNESCO has proclaimen 2015 as the International Year of Light, a global initiative to highlight to the world’s citizens the importance of light and optical technologies in our lives, our future, and in the development of equal-right societies.
Considered as one of the main sources of renewable energy, light is crucial in many different chemical processes such as the photosynthesis -a process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy that is stored in organic compounds like sugars- or the production of vitamin D in the human body. Moreover, the light-chemistry binomial is proving to be one of the best options to face some of today’s society problems such as the dependence of fossil fuels.
At ICIQ, there are several research groups working in fields such as artificial photosynthesis, development of organic photovoltaic devices and discovery of new photochemical processes, where some outstanding results have been achieved. Examples of these results are the design and synthesis of a ruthenium compound able to catalyse the oxidation of water to produce oxygen with an efficiency comparable to that of nature, the development of a new photochemical method that uses visible light to activate chiral molecules and promote the formation of new carbon bonds in a controlled manner, or the preparation of a new organic dye that is part of a dye-sensitised solar cell windows in the façade of the EPFL’s Convention Center in Lausanne.
In this framework, professors Galán-Mascarós, Melchiorre and Palomares have organised the symposium ‘Lights on Chemistry’ with the aim of not only to have a series of lectures from experts in the field, but also to provide an optimal setting for intense interdisciplinary discussion and exchanges of opinion. “The major aim of the ICIQ Symposium is to bring together worldwide leaders at the intersection between chemistry and light-based applications to discuss future directions and perspectives along these innovative research lines. It is a real pleasure that many colleagues and young students from all over Europe will participate, to celebrate and promote chemistry in the Year of Light” -says Prof. Paolo Melchiorre.
More than 150 students, professors and professionals of the chemical industry from different international centres will participate in this meeting that will also involve renowned speakers such as Prof. David MacMillan from the Princeton University, Prof. Ana L. Moore from the Arizona State University or Prof. Andrea C. Ferrari from the University of Cambridge and editors of renowned scientific journals in the fiel of chemistry such as Nature Chemistry.